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Chuck Leavell Education. (2011) Chuck Leavell ('Growing a Better America.')

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Hayek 11, Us 10, Keynes 4, Atlanta 4, Gibson 3, Cnn 2, United States 2, Ledbetter 2, Rosalynn 2, Chuck 2, Billy 2, Joel 2, Chuck Leavell 2, At&t 1, Texas 1, Dell 1, Peachtree 1, America 1, Mustard 1, Obama 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Chuck Leavell  Education.  (2011)  
   Chuck Leavell ('Growing a Better America.')  

    October 22, 2011
    11:00 - 12:00am EDT  

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take all postmen or all butchers or football players and try to work out whether there was a sub economy with rules that would apply to that group. he said it couldn't be done. ..
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economics are lake early surgery. if they do not think you sort of get out and start hacking limbs off. post.economics at the lake chemistry ultimately, that you would hand over to technicians to keep your teeth looking good. you know, i guess -- you really think that higher ultimately believed they would never go beyond early surgery and wish that technical efficiency that keynes thought was passed by close. >> keep it so much worth in the individual and i suppose his admiration for the individuals, his own, starting off with himself, that he never liked anyone else to ever make any assumptions on his behalf. it may be his own life was unique. >> do you believe in progress?
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>> i don't know if you'd even be able to come to a conclusion about what progress would be. i think he would say, 1% positive is another persons negative. we've just got to sit and watch it. there's no point in tragic price progress. keynes wanted progress to happen in two weeks time, knowing full well it was going to happen in six months time by borrowing, but hayek wanted everything to go at the speed. interestingly in the book you describe hayek as a utopian of a kind. i mean, surely the essence of utopian is there is the belief in a better perfect world that one might live in. >> yeah, there are contradictions. i mean try one of the problems as it went on for a very long time. you will always find places in any individual sport where they
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contradict each other. he decided that what was missing from his side was the warmth and humanity that the left had provided. he said even if it went wrong, in fact with communists and started up an admirable and was therefore worth 15. notwithstanding what it don't practice it still kept their mind on the honorable cool. he said that's what we want to do on our side. that's why when he started painting with its broad brush, one of the society might be like if you took government out of the equation. in the wood rich off from everything. as they say, from city government and so on. to that extent what he wanted to do was actually move the
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bandwidth between our parliamentary democracy or representative democracy and what the market takes charge. he says the market is in itself democratic and we make these decisions all the time ourselves. you don't really need to go through the list arianne -- the reformation. you don't need somebody to translate your thoughts. you don't need to let property in order to get a good man. what you need to do is know to the city that suits you and if the ceo of the city does then you don't like, just move to another city. so he lived in an ideal world. it's almost impossible to imagine. if it were to come back very quickly. >> you say he saw the market is essentially democratic. some of the apache with politics in particular and say his democracy is basically become a commodity that the market buys
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because they're so much campaign finance money going in and so forth. it's not not in a way to hierarchy and model of how government ought to be allocated to the highest bidder? >> certainly wasn't the way he imagined it would come about. and it's very clumsy and it's not at all transparent. the great thing as far as hayek was concerned about his plans for that because the market is open, it's open. everybody knows what everybody is up to. is a very straightforward and to read. but actually come the thing is we don't know the price of lumpiness, so we don't know what the price of the health care compromise was reached by spending money of charred companies and health insurance companies who restricted the way that obama change the health care provision. we don't know what price was made and what we ended up which suited nobody.
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>> in the final chapter in the book, the title is, and the winner is. what is the current state? is keynes winning? as hayek winning? >> the fact is it's too early to tell. certainly we do seem to be embarked in what is the hayek collection is anything that has been set by the president that isn't actually pretty good. it's jonesville, which may or may not come to fruition is his manifesto at the lake on a level of anger, too, which says this is what we've got to do and here they are. raising taxation by the way would he keynesian. on the other side, i think whoever we end up with come even if we end up with mitt romney, it will be there his policy position will be guided by the chief party people and they have roughly 5.01 shoe to raise
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taxes. we don't want to increase government spending in many circumstances. if they all got mine, then the republican parties will have to find some justification and will have to find a program, which says this is how we're going to live without either taxation are spending more money. there will also be an expectation about paying down the debt. you do that by cutting government services, in which case the republican candidate but to point out where and when it takes place and how deep they will be. and that makes for a very lively debate. >> do you feel -- it seems in your conclusion that ultimately your sympathies, you know, come down with keynes. ultimately keynes save capitalism and 1930s when i guess the hayek school was saying the whole thing.
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and again after september 2008, when lehman brothers failed in the home market system appear to be on the brink of collapse, the government came in and stop the collapse. you seem to feel i guess it's not a hero of the hayek school. i mean, you quote him basically saying, well coming keynesian policies save capitalism and of the capitalists have their way, they would be the people who would actually fall for the demise of capitalism because the answer supported capitalism is actually intolerable in a modern democracy essentially. >> that's the threat, which is unless we do these things, unless we make people happier than they are at the moment, they could tip over into extreme politics or worse. this economy could collapse.
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the society could collapse as it did. it's true to say that everyone is a keynesian in a foxhole. the fact is that in 2008, 2009 come you didn't hear very many people who would say, let them all fail. that's number one. lushes get on with it. they were amazingly silent until the storm had passed. and that's when people say we shouldn't have spent all this money on the stimulus bill and so on. there were some lone voices, but there were no principal people. i can't think of anyone who's about to say we should let the market run its course, do it for economic and pick ourselves up and will be so much better off. i can't see the gop presidential candidate either saying we've tried all of this keynesian staff and we're not going to do anymore. were not going to intervene in
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any circumstances. >> do you think hayek himself would have gone against the failing system in 2008 or would he have faced a complete meltdown? >> great question. it would be nice to get a board out and see exactly what he has to say. it would be really hard to say because to go back on that would be to go back, most everything that he said. so i imagine he would say that you should find out where the bottom is. find out where the prices put these things in the market tell us how much these things are worse. >> again, to get the board out, if you are able to speak to keynes today and they ask you one tip out of this current mess, what you think is number one advice would be? >> it's not easy because we live
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in a world where there are practical considerations. even if came to the president, you would find it difficult getting through this house of representatives they think. i think he would say cut taxes a good deal. i mean, a lot. really cut taxes. he would say, spend on growth and education. bridges that you can't but if you're not allowed to do that, then you're stuck. and i think that he would, because so much of it has to with the uncertainty at the moment has to do with european. i think you'd find ingenious ways of lifting the whole of the level of the government holdings of notional cool if you like. in order to get out of it. he did suggest such a thing in the past, where every nation would be given pieces of paper with gold guns. >> what about hayek?
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what would he be seen at the moment? >> i think he would say that we are in for an uncomfortable 10 years. it's going to take a long time to get us out of the mess they put us into. >> and so in that sense, in a way you've articulated a keynesian agenda for the republicans that sounds rather more palatable than four electoral purposes in the hayek message at this more brutal and difficult to sell. >> i can't tell any politician disclosing the full hayek. i think that would be really very difficult. >> because it's just a brutal. >> akamai because you have to thought how many hospitals were closed. how many soldiers will be returned, what to do with the cities which depend upon entirely the federal spending through military means, for instance.
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i mean, we're talking a lot of people's lives changing. were talking about disappointing a lot of people paying into pension funds who can now expect not to receive a proper pension. this is the brutal truth that no volunteer politician. i can't see -- they didn't have to say what they are doing. i can't see them doing it. >> well, nicholas wapschott, thank you very much. it's a terrific book. >> it's been great fun, thank you. >> that was "after words," where authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with the material. "after words" airs every evening at 12:00 p.m. in 9:00 p.m. on sunday at 12:00 a.m. on monday. you can also watch afterwards online.
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go to booktv.org and click on afterwards another tv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. >> chuck leavell, author of "growing a better america" talks about how became interested in environmental causes and the mother of the nature network. this is about 45 minutes. [applause] >> good evening. how's everybody doing? so great to be here. i really appreciate the opportunity to come here and share some thoughts with you and tell her story to you. you know, i've had the pleasure of coming to event at the atlantic press club in the past. i've always enjoyed it, and it's a true honor to have the podium here for a minute or two. so, as the now and has been noted by jane, my real job is that i'm a musician. i'd like to tell you a little story about that, how i learned
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to play the piano and become a professional musician. but learn by listening to name out there. mama sans a professional. she was a teacher or anything like that. wikipedia now in the house and she played for family enjoying it. so now i was the baby of the family. and my brother and sister when i was very young, five, six years old rossing schooled. and often it was just me and mom in the house. so i'd love to listen to reply. i tug on her skirt and say mama, come play me some dean. and she would oblige. sometimes she would get me up there and say chuck, you do something. you make up a little melody. and she was showing some chords and little simple melodies and things. finally after a year or so i was really enjoying this and are starting to learn the estimate pretty good. and i had this epiphany that this is what i wanted to do for the rest of my life. made up my mind.
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i wanted to be a musician. i was so excited. i was about seven years old and i went to find another and tell her about this. they found her in the kitchen and said mamma, mamma. she said wow, check on their own worked out. what's going on? is that mama, i've made a big decision. she said take a deep breath and tommy was undermined. i said mamma, i've decided i want to be a musician when i grew up. dumbest month, looked down at me and said honey, you can't do both. [laughter] boy was she right. i'm still struggling with that two word phrase, responsible adult. not sure about that. you guys know the difference between a musician and a municipal bond? municipal bond eventually matures. it makes money. but this evening i'm not here in
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my capacity as a musician, but in that capacity in may after roles in life in particular my interest in the environment, but also as a forest landowner and a tree farmer. so what in the world is a rock 'n roll piano player going around talking about these things? and one in the world is he doing partnering with an advertising and public relations guru to put together an environmental website called mother nature network. well, there's a simple answer for all this, the very logical answer. it's on my wife's well. rosalie -- my wife rose lane family has been connected to the land for generations as farmers from attending campbell, tending forest land. and also, just as being good stewards of the land, having a passion and a respect for the land. and by the way, rosa lane was going to be here tonight but she got a little ill and couldn't make it. but i like to brag and talk
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about her. she's ledbetter three quarters i like to call her. my partner in crime. by the way -- this past year -- this year we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. that's not too bad, is that? [applause] thank you. we get a lot of comments about that. people say 38 years? during the antenna made business. how in the world had become? what's your secret? i tell folks it's really very simple because marriage is much like photographic film. it has to be developed in the dark. [laughter] so, when i was dating -- when i was dating the farmer's daughter in the early 70s as we begin to get serious, and the time came i had to go and meet the farmer and the family. and if you guys might imagine there was a 20-year-old young hippie rock 'n roll piano player with hair down to you in a beard and i was more than a little bit nervous that day.
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fortunately adulthood work out quite well and rosalynn family welcomed me with open arms if perhaps with some curiosity and more than a little bit of concern i'm sure. but going back even further back, those of us that are children of the 60s, i think we all remember the cultural and social revolution going on during those days and certainly environmentalism was a part of that. and i think that was probably my first awareness. smokestacks were spewing horrible things i'm into the air. factories and manufacturing companies are pretty terrible things into our waterways, rivers, oceans. it was quite a protest against these things. i think to a degree these protests brought about some very positive change. the epa was born. rules and regulations came into place. i think there is just a new attitude towards our environment
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. so that attitude lay dormant just a little while as i was pursuing a musical career until i met rosalynn and her family. as we would go out to the place -- to the country on the weekends and holidays and spend time with them and i got to know them better, their love and passion and ensure respect for the land began to rub off on me. and then in 1981, her grandmother passed away leaving her about a thousand acres of land in the house that we call the homeplace. now it became our responsibility to carry on this heritage -- generational heritage stewardship of the land. and i did not take this lightly, off i must admit i didn't know a lot about it. i was unprepared and so i decided i better prepare myself that i took a little self-education journey. i wanted to do the right thing by the family, the right thing by the land. so i went to the library and i checked out books on land use.
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which which landowners and asked them what they were doing with the land and why they were doing it that way. went to meetings and seminars, eventually enrolled in a correspondence course when i was touring with the fabulous thunderbirds. some of you might recall the texas blues band that had a record called tough enough. remember that? and so i worked with t. birds for about a year and a half and that's about how long it took me to get through this correspondence course. i would do the homework in the back of the bus or in the dressing room wherever i had the chance to do so. when i finished it, i began to have a bit of confidence and understanding land-use issues. we had discussed a number of things to do with the land. you know, it was a diversified farm. they had cattle and some timberlands. but i kind of realized that crop in the catalog with the two other options like concrete, peachtree, nurseries that the bow of those things would
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require a lot of day-to-day work on my part. and we couldn't really afford to hire a manager. we wanted to do this ourselves anyway. but the more i read and learned and studied on forestry, i just became fascinated with the period for one thing, it fit my situation. i could secure my decision and it's a very long-term view of the use of the land. i kind of like that idea. and i had to re-remind myself for that marvelous thing called a piano concert and it's given me my career and my livelihood for the resource that would. so many other musical instruments come from the resource we all know. entries in forest is so much more for us. they give it to us to give its homes, schools and offices and materials for books and magazines and newspapers. there's some 5000 products that we all use that have some element of truth in them.
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and they do more than that. they clean our air. the cleaner water. they provide home and shelter to all manner of wildlife. and they do something else, too for all of us i think. they get is a wonderful place to repose and to think about our lives. ralph waldo emerson once so eloquently said that in the woods we return to reason and faith. so, rosie and i decided that this would be a nation and our use of the land. we begin to manage our land, plants and trees and managed not only for the trees, but for the biodiversity that exists on the landscape. and this led to some advocacy work, the first book i put up which is called forever green: history and hope of the american forest, because i thought there's a lot of misunderstanding and i wanted to try and put it on his face on a pier where we've been, where we are and where we are going.
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that led to a children's book, the tree farmer, which was a lot of fun to meet and then the more recent they have called growing a better america, which addresses smart growth, the factory at 310 million people in this country, in all this tremendous pressure on our lands and some loss of our natural lands due to that pressure in how we might be able to deal with that of course is the subject of the book. and you know, as i would record or tour with some of these are days that i work with, rolling stones and air clapton and george harrison and some of the other artists. these guys were sometimes scratched their heads. here he goes again. it's always the trees, you know. but when we would really engaging conversation about these things and these issues, believe it or not, mick and keith and eric at the same concerns for our environment that we do and so many of the
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musicians are not decent people in the entertainment business to share a deep concern about our environment. and so then, one day this guy that i'd kind of become friends with that happens to be in the advertising and public relations business calls me up on the phone and says chuck, what are you doing? i said i'm just kind of hanging. why? he said are you in town? says that the lisbon, how about come by the office. i've got kind of a crazy idea, but i want to discuss something with you. i said all right, sure. so i show up there and he says listen. you know, i represents a pretty big name clients. coca-cola, computers, said the companies and they come to me. they made some big changes in the way they do business, the way they treat their energy use and they've made a really positive changes in their part that says and they want to get these messages about what they are doing out over the internet.
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he says look, i have no problem knowing where to send them when the print media or radio or television i've got that down. i've been doing this research is looking around and i just can't find something i feel really comfortable with. she knows something i i don't know? sidwell, joel, i think you're probably right, man. i know most of the sites and there's some decent sites out there. we went through a few on the screen. i said but you know what? there's no real iconic site, nothing but stands head and shoulders above the rest, covers all aspects of the environment in a fun and engaging way. doesn't try to preach at you, just gives you good information. i told them this is my point of view and he says well, if you want to build a? what do you mean build it? he says i mean build it.
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he says i think i can get the resource. and if you're coming at me, i resigned my position and will start a company together. well, i was shocked and scared, but i was intrigued. so this is the story of how the odd couple of the rock 'n roll guy in the public relations advertising guru come together to form the mother nature network, mnn.com.com. this has been an amazing journey from you have to tell you. they learned so much working with their incredible staff to work so hard to get this information up and running and keep it current and keep a changing and find the important stories out there. i've learned so much on this journey and i'm truly grateful for the ride. and so, to flesh out the story and give you some perspective, please welcome my dear, dear friend commented ceo, president of the mother nature network, my pal, my partner, joel babbit.
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[applause] >> chuck is so modest. i always say in a minute from my heart, it is such a privilege to be a partner of his. everybody i think takes that to mean that it's a privilege because he's with the rolling stones. that's only an advantage when you're looking for tickets and stuff like that. but from a spiritual and, you know, human standpoint, it's totally different reasons. it's because he's the greatest guy in the world and really just a great partner. i told you i was going to tell the story. you still don't mind? when i talk about modest, a mean you know, even though it's totally untrue and i've been accused of just the opposite, so i can recognize opposites attract. but in terms of modesty, i must
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tell you, chuck called me several months ago and said hey, i'm going to be in town. you want to have lunch? said yes, on each of the bones. so we were having lunch and i see this guy at the reception area. he waves and it's an older man who i think retired and was a client of mine years ago. of course it wasn't someone you know i don't think. anyway, he came over and i said this is chuck leavell, mrs. so-and-so. he said is supposed to meet someone at 12:00. i said sit down with us. he sat down and said chad, your client to jolts? he thought i was still in the advertising business, so chuck said no, i'm a musician. and sitting there with me, you probably think that he plays a smoke-filled bar or a holiday inn lounge or something. but chuck wouldn't say.
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he would come out and say it. it subsidizes your musician, would you play? pan out, keyboards. what kind of music you play? mainly rock 'n roll. crying under the table. you play by yourself or you play with the band? i play with the band most of the time, yeah. and just goes on. do i'll play around here? we have a few times, yes. the guy says was the name of the band, half my kids, maybe they've heard of it. the rolling stones. because that's good. i really, what's the name of the band? sinai, chuck admitted we played with. but it was like pulling teeth. i would've announced it in the first decade, you know? of introduction. but he has been terrific. and in addition to be a great
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guy, also a great partner because he is so committed to the environment and really is a large part of the conscience of the state. so come and the fact that chuck story, let me just tell you, the reason there was this void that i think existed is because of this. you had this little group of scientists, activists and experts a few years ago were the only people that cared about the environment for the most part. nobody else cared. the website started for that group. eventually it became so popular that it involved into a mainstream movement. soccer moms, business people, teenagers, college students. it became a mainstream movement. but the websites never evolved in the same way. they stayed really focused. they're all very technical, very academic, very political, most of them. a mainstream people would be
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going to the sites where their head. nobody could understand anything. so we thought there was an opportunity to fill that void and that's really how this started. this is supposed to be -- no, hold on. believe it or not, this is the first remote-controlled remote control ledbetter senior to turn the remote control on with remote control. i'm serious, i've never seen that. i don't know how to do it. [laughter] there, okay. so would you just admit it's not that i didn't know how to do it. you've got to turn this on. [laughter] said that with the void that we saw and we watched a little over two an at-risk outcome in january of nine. it was designed for a mainstream audience, and in a comprehensive, easy to understand, engaging and nonpolitical. and that was the model that we
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went in with. and here is the result. so this is -- alexis is probably one of the leading ranking services and internet owned by amazon. so when their environmental category, they have 7080 sites. this is worldwide government, nonprofits. we are now number three in the world. [applause] thank you. we just surpassed the epa and the national park service and way ahead of hurston discovery and nature conservancy and everybody else. the only two above us is no and care. so we don't know how much higher we can get in this thing with that kind of competition. but a couple years ago, we were number 3000, which i thought was really good at that time and we've moved out. chuck mentioned to our staff and
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really, it's unbelievable. i do think just as the site for this audience, that atlanta is really -- you know, we talked about how great a plant is all the time or try to. i think enough attention is given to the media part, the press part. it's really a center that people don't recognize. i mean, yes you have cnn and turner, but you have one attendee, weather channel, cumulus media. hopefully someone will add to that list, but it's a great start to start a business because there's so much talent that came from cnn and turner and coxon web and d. and weather channel and we pay them half of what they were making and they all came over. little choice in the matter -- really, they are here. emily murphy especially want to recognize. she is our managing editor and has done a fantastic job.
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we've really had a term and his staff. 70% of our content is original by the way. the very unusual as you know. this is our visits. we've had 10 consecutive quarters of growth, 20% plus. we reached almost 3 million people every month now from about 200 countries. and so, the next quarter is about the end of this month that we will have had our 11th consecutive quarter. this is going to end at some point and i'm very concerned because you can't keep going like this. i have to come up with other kind of graphic or chart when that happens. we have done, you know, as we were introduced, we spent no money in advertising because i know it doesn't work because i wasted everybody else's money learning that lesson.
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[laughter] but you know, the new cory cnn, there is a great article and we were voted the best by fortune last year in "usa today" and i love bloomberg for readers stumped by environmental sites that follow in scientific jargon. we have tremendous access. the only reason i mention this is the cause -- not because who they are, but it has a relevance to this audience in a very big way and i'll show you why. this is how we do sponsorships. this is our content arrangement if you will. so we've got what we call at eight different channels at 32 different categories within those. each of these categories is sponsored by one individual company for an entire 12 month
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term. so take this as an example. this is the computer category. there may be 8000 pages in that category. if you go to all 24/7 365 company won't see any advertising or marketing for any team except for dell. this is at&t can the same thing. maybe 10,000 pages. that's fitness and well-being. and by the way, a lot of people in this industry say well, what effect does not have an editorial? they have no impact on editorial. almost everyone i talk to when we are pitching them says wait a second. you know, if our company did something bad by mistake and it's possible -- it's possible the story would appear on the same area we are sponsoring. i said no, it's not possible. it will have been because it their credibility, we've lost
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everything. so we really strive to be a very -- very disciplined about that. in fact, i'll tell you the truth. but tell you right now about georgia-pacific. i mean, they're the greatest company for us in the world and one of our biggest supporters, but the day before i was supposed to sign the contract with them, we had a story about toilet paper being bad for you, which i still don't understand by the way editorially. but they happen to be the largest toilet paper manufacturer in the world. not good timing. but nonetheless, they accepted that they didn't want to be with someone that was incredible and so they were benefited at the end of the day. so the other thing about this model is that it is not just its exclusivity. it is not advertising in the traditional sense. so i gave you this example. this is the unit used by
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sponsors. whether this is five interactive boxes. these are about two or three minutes long. they're not commercials. they're much our educational and informative. like coke uses bears, but this is a climate change program. get it back i think is a program for the boys and girls club. these are the products they have it done as sweeteners in in it and hydration calculator. and then there is a connection to facebook into their site, which is live positively. if it's much more corporate communications, pr, executive visibility, not leadership than it is advertising. you can see from the sponsors we've gotten into in a half years that a lot of people want to do that kind of stuff. a lot of people say your site is so clean and well-designed. and i appreciate that, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that we don't have regular advertising like everybody else. the reason i say it is so rather
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than to this audience is that when you have these discussions about content, paying for content, then neither times were they decided to start -- you had to pay for content was such a major subject. everybody said there's no way you can make money on the internet unless you charge for content. everybody said that. it's true if you leave your advertising model the same. but everybody just made that assumption. they say you can't ever make money because they said it will say the same. therefore you have to charge for content. they never thought what if you change this terrible and this parable has allowed us to make money while providing a very good service and value to our sponsors. i think it's much more effect this, 100 times more effective. that was a well researched statistic. [laughter] but seriously, i don't know what
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the multiple lives, but it's very much -- i can tell you are sponsors did a lot more value from this format than they do traditional advertising. they pay a little more, but they get a lot more. i think that is the message about all the sites because the muster the weather channel, maybe cnn, google company skype for billions of people to make money for those of you who were familiar with that model -- most of you i know are journalists, but sure very much affected by the advertising market and it's all sold on a cpm basis. you won't make money unless you're doing billions of pages, unless you change the way you do it. we've come up with the way it is to everyone's benefit. so that's it. [laughter] i appreciate the time in a really cannot rest to do this.
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it's also an honor for me to do it with the atlanta press club today had meetings with for so many times. [applause] >> we request that you raise your hand and please don't put the microphones in front of your face. but the questions begin. >> question for chat. any thoughts on gibson guitar's legal problems? >> what a strange thing that was. for those of you that may not know, the united states rated the gibson guitar company and shut them down because they were buying would from india in making guitars here in the united states with atwood. it was a squarely thing i ever
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heard of. it's just a disturbing policy really. that should've never happened happened in my opinion. so that is my feeling. i think it's ridiculous. that's the law, the law ought to be changed. [inaudible] [laughter] >> the first guitar i ever bought was a gibson guitar, mustard and 65 over 64. and i'm not worried about that now. i think this story has broken now and giving people a lot to think about and hopefully this kind of silliness will stop. >> i really respect what you do in the fact that you're using journalism to share the work here in a way that people can understand, but on the flipside, i'm interested in the world of pr played in the success of the site because they know your pr person i know is amazing.
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i am interested in knowing how important that was to you. >> well, it was very important because we spent no money in advertising. we relied entirely on pr. i will say that it helps when your partner is with the rolling stones. i was joked that that was just me and he and my kids like school newsletter. father starts their business as opposed to "time" magazine and fortune. but with chuck, he's more than a pretty face. he really knows his subject. i mean can you see some of these people in advertising talking about some subject and they get paid a million dollars have no idea what they're talking about. they just go on record some commercial. chuckles that there were senators, scientist, he knows exactly what he's talking about. so to use the word authentic, which has been overused they think these days, but that has
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been a major part of our business. you know, how was to get the word out there? there's only so far that word-of-mouth will go. i have always said pr is much more effective than advertising because it's much more credible. so we've been very fortunate in that regard. >> i will just say i'm pretty good at faking it. by the way, i did mention this. chuck has a role in the upcoming billy bob partner because jayne mansfield's car, which is about neither. [laughter] but i think chuck is one line? he practiced the same line over and over. we'd sit on a plane. i forget the line. it was four or five words. it was like he was cursing shakespeare way monologue or something. when is that coming out?
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>> what was robert duvall. i did want to mess up anything. they think adobe out maybe next fall. there's not a release date set yet, but that's what billy told me would probably be late next year. it is a script that really cowrote and stars and directs finance marvelous and funny and serious and you're all going to really enjoy it. it was an honor to disappear but the shortest billy called me. we've been friends for a long time. he said i needed them. and it's some young guys and some 60s music. so i found some guy, they auditioned and got the gig. he is grateful and coming back and said he worked out. we have until the keyboard spot. you know, these do sometimes have an older guy. [laughter] is that i can do that, yet i can do that. so he graciously put me in and said there's this other line. you could say one line.
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it's a short saying, but you get to do it to bobby duval. is that i'm in for that, man. no doubt. [inaudible] >> i can't remember. you'll have to wait for the movie to come out. >> on your website from a revenue standpoint come you don't have the add network and click install specifically sponsored perception? >> it is, but before joe gives the correct answer, let me say when we discussed this, one of the things we both decided was we were really not wanting those flashy, ugly pop-up ads that continue to distract you, spin around, look silly and are a pain in the to deal with. so joe came up with this. >> we take no advertising from anybody that's not a sponsor. we use no ad network and we are approached all the time. i mean, ad networks that are not
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selling 100% -- are done for a while, barraza 100%. so we'll take the rest of it and saw that for you. we say no, we can't do it that way. they say that to everybody else does it. so it's not that way it has made a big difference. it takes a little discipline, which i have very little is normally, but iceberg out for the best. i mean, it's a better thing for everybody, for the sponsors, visitors, for us and i'm glad we've done it that way. yes. >> hi, this is kind of a continuation to that point. this has been wonderful. have you thought about expanding into other areas like a global conference or other publishing or other kinds of properties, whether they are present or generating or not to kind of x and the brand into those kind of various? >> well yeah, we look at everything, you know.
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i come up with at least 10 ideas every day, which are immediately shut down. but we have what died -- you know, there's a tremendous opportunity at engquist children's books and games coming out, there is "sesame street" the top letters and numbers and colors and then there was, what's that thing? door at that teaches different languages. i'm not sure what bernie teaches, that you know, there's nobody -- no untaken opposition in environmentalism and yet it's the most important thing for kids and teachers now. but the name of their nature it's like the authority and we talked about that. i will say we were introducing whether to our site in the next hopefully none and it will be
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very, very different than anything else. we think whether it's a huge area to expand into. we've talked about having conferences. you know, we have our priorities were trying to do things one step at a time. but i think conferences would be very good. we then typed about one of these cruises. you know, they have been cruises like old rock 'n roll bands or authors. [laughter] rosie o'donnell cruises. they've got all kinds of cruises. jewish cruises, everything. they say why don't you do an environmental crews that would be mother nature and make sense? but i don't know. it's not a matter -- there's a million great ideas to hear. i think from a business standpoint, one of the hardest things is not coming up with new ideas. it's figuring out which ones do you really focus on. that's hard.
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>> hey there, gents. he made a very good point, joel, about atlanta being a place where there is a great media business. so i would like to know how profitable is mother nature network? because i ask in the end it needs to stay around and employ a lot of people and become tightened. how's it going? how are you doing? >> we are doing great. i mean, we are not making the billions of dollars, but we are way above breakeven, which after two and a half years is pretty good. [applause] you know, we are doing relatively well. if you're making profit these days, it's very good. for us to be doing that -- i will delete this, had we used the traditional cpm model based on our traffic, we would not be
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making money. we would not be making anywhere near where we are making now. it was because of that change in model that has allowed us to be profitable. but you know, we are not widely profitable, but we are way above breakeven. and i find that to be very positive thing. i think this coming year -- an outcome you've got to understand the first year i was out there selling and we had no traffic. we know other sponsors. chris womack from southern company is here, one of our first sponsors. i presented to him. thank god he signed on. where the other sponsors? is that i can tell you. it's very confidential. because we have no other sponsors at that time. he believed me. anyway -- really it's easier. it gets easier with the success we've had. use opera list list of sponsors know that shows good judgment by the way. but it's easier now obviously
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then it was a year ago and it will be easier a year from now. >> hello. how would you describe your impact -- how would you describe the impact on society and in turn on your sponsors for having been involved with you and i have to stand behind that message? >> well, hopefully we are giving -- and i think we are, very accurate information, but doing it in an engaging way. one of the things on our side is translating uncle sam. if you go to the epa for some of these other governmental sites, it looks like a spreadsheet when they present information. it's very boring and hard to digest and it got to get a ruler and try to figure out what they are talking about. and so our team, day after day after day goes and finds this information can i rate the new
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graphic board, a new headline and makes an engaging and interesting, where you can digest it and understand it. that's what we really want to do with their fabulous team that works on these things. i am an environmentalist. i care about these and everyone in this room does. we are looking for information. how can we change our lives? how can we make little steps that add up to big steps? and that is what our mission is, to give that information in a way that people can understand it, digest it and apply it. >> which pages get the most attention and people stay on the longest in the various categories? the second question is some say this a flash in the pan. environmentalism is a fad. how he succeeded for years? >> first of all, in terms of the first question, pats too unbelievable. pets is amazing. also, as you know, quirky
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stories -- like you could write the most important story about iraq and make it less coverage than what whitney houston eight at rehab or some income you know? and so, no figuring that out. in terms of categories, pets, wilderness and resources -- ecotourism is a major thing now. ecotourism has taken off tremendously. and those are some of the top categories. transportation is very good. a lot of this has to do with search engine optimization because not everybody puts in mother nature networks. sometimes they put in hybrid cars. that's a big part of how we get trapped as well. in terms of being a fad, when we started this two and a half years ago, i can't tell you how many people came up and said well yes, it's going to be gone
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and not only is it not a fad, but it's becoming more and more on what we find this acceptable culture. you know, you may have seen this story -- it was on the front page of "the new york times" about classic bags in school you know, everybody has to put their sandwiches and plastic bags. it's an embarrassment not to these kids because they feel guilty about their parents are being irresponsible. and you know, the sales have gone down from tupperware and container stores. so not only is it the cultural shift that's permanent, by the way, but it's also a demographic shift because the teenagers and young people are interested in where they work. i responsible is in major fact. how they go to work.
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and these teenagers -- you don't want them not you. you have nobody fixed or computers at home. i don't know what to do if you do that. >> okay, i've got the mic. well, this is an interesting follow-up to what you are saying. we are now seeing a little bit of a backlash. we are seeing statistically that fewer people are believing in global warming that we've seen a shift in. and i am just curious to hear your response to that, that people are suspect that a lot of this. >> well, that's not what i'm finding. i don't know what research you might be referring to, but i can tell you that everybody i know cares about this staff. and my new book has done pretty well off the shelf here. immediately a lot of people are concerned about these issues. 310 people, what's after that?
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we have four and a half million paved and unpaved roads in the country, 260 million vehicles writing those roads and 87,000 planes in the sky today. 276 cities in our country with over 100,000 population. anyway you look at it, this is a tremendous amount of pressure on our population, natural lands. and here's a few numbers for you about natural lands. atlanta loses between 50 and 100 acres a day to growth and development. we're on the low end. when things are kicking, that's 100 acres a day every day. without these is from virginia to east texas loses almost a million acres a year. the whole country, 2.5 million acres a year. 3 million more people year after year after year between birth and immigration in this country. 3 million people year after year
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callout to have a place to live, work, go to school and shop. and so i think people are concerned about these things. i think they are looking ways to alleviate these pressures and find ways. i'm not saying i'm antigrowth. i couldn't stop it if they wanted to. so i think the real question is how are we going to do with? what changes can be made? is the kind of information we want to provide. that's the information most americans are looking for and how we can deal with it. >> i just want to comment on research but i'm sure what you saw did say that, but i would tell you research is the biggest scam ever. whoever came up with this idea, idea -- whatever objective you want to reach come onto a research study that will prove that. let me tell you how bad. i will give you five different surveys that are done to show our audience is as totall